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The Standing Rabbit

Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life by Edna O'Brien

Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life by Edna O'Brien

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Byron in Love:  A Short Daring Life by Edna O'Brien is a 228-page hardcover published in 2009 by W.W. Norton & Company.  The dust jacket is fully intact with only light wear.  Inside, the pages are crisp and the binding is tight.

Book Summary

Byron is a mythic figure--a superb poet, an insatiable love, the epitome of the great artist who dies young.  His very name suggests wildness, rebelliousness, artistic frenzy.  Born in 1788, Byron has transcended his age more than any other poet, inspiring generations of poets, artists, even rock stars.  In Byron in Love:  A Short Daring Life, the acclaimed Irish novelist Edna O'Brien captures the essential truths of his destructive genius.

As O'Brien relates, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was five feet eight and a half inches in height, had a malformed right foot, chestnut hair, a haunting pallor, gray eyes fringed with dark lashes, and an enchantingness that neither men nor women could resist.  Everything about him was a paradox--insider and outsider, beautiful and deformed, serious and facetious, profligate but on occasion miserly, and possessed of a fierce intelligence trapped in a child's magic and malices.

Immersing herself in Byron's letters and journals, O'Brien follows the rake's progress from his surprising beginnings as the son of an impoverished Scottish heiress to his inheritance, at the tender age of ten, the baronetcy of his mad uncle and the damp ruins of Newstead Abbey.  O'Brien finds a young Byron already showing the great passion and near obsession with the "other," men and women alike, that would dominate the rest of his life.  Byron's hunger for love drove him nearly to madness and then to even greater artistic heights, in such works as Don Juan and Childe Harold.  Byron risked everything for the great political fight of his life--independence for Greece--where he helped outfit and train their army before dying tragically from a malarial fever in the swamps of Messolonghi.

ISBN:  978-0-393-07011-8

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